National Wildlife Refuge System

Three new National Recreation Trails on Refuges

Parula warblers may greet visitors at Parker River Refuge, MA, one of three refuges with a new national recreation trail.
Credit:Sandy Selesky/2012 NWRA Photo Finalist

Trails on national wildlife refuges in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts are among 28 newly named national recreation trails.


"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. "These 28 new national recreation trails, established through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, connect federal, state and local lands and waters to provide access to inexpensive, enjoyable outdoor activities for all Americans.”


Newly designated trails on refuges include:


Mud Pond Trail - On the Pondicherry Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, NH, visitors walk through a forest community uncommon to the Connecticut River Valley to a beautiful pond and a boreal forest fen deep within the refuge. Mud Pond is home to three carnivorous plant species and unusual wildlife for this part of New England. The 0.6-mile universally accessible trail has 900 feet of raised boardwalk with rest stops that offer extraordinary views of the boreal forest and wetland communities.


Timber Point Trail - On the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, ME, near Biddleford Pool, a scenic 1.4-mile lollipop trail with an elevated platform takes visitors past freshwater wetlands, fringing salt marshes, cattail marshes, mixed deciduous forest, mudflats (used by feeding shorebirds), coastal shrublands, rocky shores, and views of the Little River Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. For extra adventure, Timber Island is accessible from the end of the trail via a land bridge at low tide.


Hellcat Interpretive Trail - At the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, MA, two branches of the one-mile Hellcat Interpretive Trail meander through dunes, shrub thickets, vernal pools, maritime forest and brackish marsh habitats. Observation platforms and a mile of elevated boardwalk enhance wildlife viewing opportunities while protecting the habitat of this Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Site. Over 120,000 visitors enjoy this trail annually. The Dune Loop portion of this trail takes hikers up a 50 foot tall dune for a 360 degree view of the island. The Marsh Loop portion passes through the North Pool, with beaver and muskrat homes, and a great chance to view red winged blackbirds and marsh wrens.


Find many more trails on a refuge near you here.


Read about all the new national recreation trails here.

Last updated: June 3, 2013